SJCPL Renovations Get Council Approval

Published Tuesday, November 27, 2018

On November 26, South Bend's Common Council took two actions enabling the St. Joseph County Public Library to move forward with an ambitious Main Library renovation and expansion projected to cost $36 to $38 million.

The council voted unanimously to approve a three-way agreement with the library and Community Foundation of St. Joseph County, committing the city to contribute $4 million, the library to pay $20 million and the foundation to spend $10 million.

In a separate but related step, the council also approved a $4.8 million bond issue. The city expects to issue the bonds in late 2021. In addition to its own $10 million contribution, the foundation will start fronting money next year so that construction can begin, then be reimbursed later with the city’s $4 million once the city has issued its bonds.

The project will include a $15 to $17 million overhaul of the existing downtown Main Library, last renovated 28 years ago, and a new $19 million Community Education Center facing the southwest corner of Wayne and Michigan streets. The city’s $4 million will go toward the education center, which will be attached to the existing library by a connector that could house a technology center.

In between the library and learning center would be a confined but publicly accessible outdoor courtyard, creating space for outdoor programming that the library has long desired. Large new windows on the library’s east-facing wall will look out on the courtyard.

Source: Read the full article by Jeff Parrott in the South Bend Tribune